I have had two major moments in the past week that make me feel like we are doing something right as parents.
The first was on Edward's birthday.
I was getting all of our library books together because we were heading into IF and I like to hit the library while we are on that side of town and I could not find the movie "Mary Poppins". I looked and looked and asked the kids where it was.
Buddy looks up and says, "Oh mom, I know where it is. I didn't like that movie so I put it in the trash. Then you carried that trash outside to the big garbage. Then the big garbage took it away and it is gone forever and I never have to watch it again."
I will admit, steam came out of my ears. But I controlled myself. After all, he was very very honest (and specific) with me about what happened to the movie. But those movies don't come cheap and we are on a tight budget right now.
I (fairly) calmly explained that the movie belonged to the library and we had to pay for it. Now, we had been planning to take Buddy to Toys R Us for his birthday and let him spend $20 on whatever he wanted there. But, we were in the position where we needed to pay for this movie now. So I asked him what we should do. He suggested that he pay for the movie. I told him the only money he had was his birthday present money and that meant we would not be able to get him anything for his birthday.
That boy... I nearly cried. He thought this through, looks at me with sad eyes and says, "Well, okay. I threw it away, I need to fix it."
And he did. We took his money (it actually cost us $35, ouch, but I wasn't going to beat him over the head with it) and he handed it over to the librarian.
He told me he didn't feel like a big boy because he threw away a movie and didn't get to pick a present.
But I told him he is a big boy BECAUSE he chose to tell the truth and face the consequences of his choice.
What a good kid. He is going to be such a great adult.
The second thing happened just barely.
Belle comes in looking all troubled so I asked her what was wrong.
Turns out an adult had told her and some other kids that it was okay to do something that their parents had told them they couldn't do. This person had said it was okay to do it when their parents weren't there and it would be a secret between them. This person told them not to tell their moms or dads.
Now, this isn't a malicious thing, this secret. But, it is against something I have clearly told my kids and more importantly, I have told all of my kids if another adult ever tells you a "secret" or does something and tells you not to tell your parents, you should always always TELL. (Note to adults: having a secret with a child who isn't yours is a bad idea for many reasons. But, lets give you the benefit of the doubt and say it is fairly innocent... guess what, you may have set this kid up for someone to take advantage of them, their innocent trusting nature, and be coerced into keeping a BAD secret. Kids should never have secrets from their parents.)
Belle did tell. She told me she didn't agree to keep the secret because she knew it wasn't okay. And I am proud of her because she was scared to tell me because she was scared this other adult would get in trouble or be mad at her. I was really casual about it and told her she made the right choice and I was proud of her and it would all be okay and I wasn't mad at all. Then she smiled and told me she felt sick and upset and after telling me this secret she felt so much better.
I am so happy she can tell me things. This is a huge wonderful thing and it makes me very happy.
I know we aren't perfect parents, but these two moments make me feel like we are getting something right.
These are good moments where two of our kids have each done something difficult that required maturity, responsibility and bravery on their part and I am proud of them.